*This post inspired by my most recent couch-time adventure: starting (and almost finishing!) Game of Thrones. So totally 2000 and late, I am aware, but 2000 and just in time for the premiere of season three – 3.31.13. Party at my apartment. Bring your dragons. White walkers not welcome.*
First of all, I’d like to allow everyone who ever told me to watch Game of Thrones a big fat “I told you so.” I had my doubts, but I was wrong, and I have sleep deprivation to prove it.
Second of all, let’s talk about the opening credits. Needless to say, they’re absolutely beautiful. Like, on par with the breasts of Daenerys beautiful. So, in honor of my newest love affair with a TV show, in particular order, below please find a list of the top 10 best opening credit sequences currently on the air. Musical choices were also taken into consideration when making the list (I’m looking at you, SVU).
Most of the time half-hour credits don’t impress me much, but I happen to love these credits. The whimsical tune + script flying out the window towards the Hollywood sign before landing in a pool is oh-so-LA, and oh-so-reflective of the tone of Episodes. Which is a show about the ups and downs, and mostly the misfortunes, of living the dream. I highly recommend this show if a) you haven’t watched it, because it’s bomb dot com, b) you work in Hollywood and especially c) you’re a fan of inside baseball jokes.
… has a wonderful opening credit sequence, but is low on the list because of the song choice. Slap on the wrist to you, Kurt Sutter, if you’re reading this, which you aren’t, but I so totally don’t even care either way. Aaaaanyway, aside from the song, anything with Charlie Hunnam’s muscles on it makes me moist in my undergarments, so, it’s mostly that and the cool fonts and leather jackets and stuff.
Who can deny that SVU must be on the list? Mostly because the familiar jingle used to be my ringtone. Also because it’s one of the most successful shows on TV, and in the criminal justice system, we give credit where credit’s due. That is, to NBC, Dick Wolf, and whoever picked this song thirteen seasons ago.
Louie Louie Louie Louieeeeeeeeee. Mostly for the song. Also for the pizza. Also for the triple threat: “Created By, Written By, Starring Louis C.K.” Because whether or not you like Louie, Lena, Larry David and the like, you gotta respect the storytelling-about-myself success model.
6. Mad Men
I’m biased when it comes to this one, cause Mad Men is my all time favest of the faves and Matt Weiner is basicamente my numba one bitch. Sure, they’re lower budget than most of the credits I’ve been praising here, but I do think they’re reflective of time period and tone. The images of the late 1950s and early 1960s advertising tropes are as historically accurate as the show itself (apparently Mr. Weenie is a stickler for research), and the fact that Don’s jumping out a window — well, let’s just say that captures the attitude of the protagonist pretty prettyyyy well. In a nutshell: Happiness is contrived. Everything is falling apart. Don Draper is drinking about it, and wondering if this world is worth his time. Let’s at least give them credit for exceeding five seconds (<– this is a not-so-veiled insult directed at you, Breaking Bad).
Julian Fellowes, may I ask, are you capable of doing anything wrong? I think not. Every time I hear the beautiful music of Downton Abbey and see that lit candle being carried through the estate, my heart warms a bit. The credits are cinematic, elegant, and symbolic, and what a lovely, long-lasting candle that servant with a point of view is carrying through the estate!
4. True Blood
The True Blood credits are produced by Digital Kitchen, perhaps my fave agency-for-hire when it comes to makin’ Main Titles (they also did the Six Feet Under credits & other mad cool shit). The credits are comprised of over 65 awesome shots of weird grassy swamps / bloody sex / hawt red lips, and they make me want to put a spell on you, my underwire forsaking tubetoppers. Then maybe suck your blood and kill some witches with magic spellz.
When it comes to main titles, comedies don’t usually get enough credit (puns!), because there are so many baller dramas out there with crazy high production budgets that require equally well-produced opening sequences. Shameless is an exception. It’s funny in the way that the show itself is funny, that is to say, dark and rough around the edges. And what better way to depict a show about a dysfunctional family full of kids & their drunk-o daddy than with a montage of them sharing a bathroom? Also, Emmy Rossum has great legs, and I love that one of the children gets walked in on while masturbating. Too funny.
Way to go, Peter Anderson studio. Sherlock is directed by Paul McGuigan, who is one of the most bad ass directors in the TV biz, and is also responsible for the signature look of the show – dark, scary, fast moving, intense, and beautiful. Sherlock himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) is slightly sociopathic, but has a crazy mathematical mind and a photographic memory. Maps of London are ingrained in his head and his relationship with cell phones and text messages is integral to the plot/look/feel/COMPLETE GENIUS of the show. In the credits, the modern day London in which the show takes place, as well as the world of Sherlock’s mind – which is cray cray trippy and weirdo – are brought to life. I don’t know how to fully communicate this without being as explicit is possible: This is one of the best shows on TV. Everyone should watch it. I cannot stress this more. I almost put this before Game of Thrones.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like these credits on all of TV anywhere oh my gosh. If this were an ordinary TV show, I’d make myself a nice lil’ cheese on bread snack during the credits, but when playing the game of thrones, I’m glued to my couch, watching the epic CGI map of seven kingdoms rise out of the nothingness and zoom across my screen and I’m flabbergasted and overwhelmed and, most importantly, completely transported into the world where the series takes place. Which is what credits should accomplish, ideally. SO, lords and ladies of HBO, props for a job well done.
In conclusion: premium cable wins, British people also win, you should watch all of the above, credits are kewl, and I watch too much TV!